Featured Image courtesy of the Artist
Daughter have been making gains in the US. Following their 2014 Coachella and 2015 Austin City Limits performances, the British group will be tackling Bonnaroo this year as well as playing a sold out show at the Union Transfer on March 3. Their second album, Not To Disappear, demonstrates why they have been on the rise, as their latest release provides a sensory experience.
The opening track “New Ways” sets the mood with suspenseful, melancholy instrumentals. Coupled with singer Elena Tonra’s raw, emotional vocals, the composition alone tells a story. The two forces crescendo in harmony, creating a sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing introduction.
The soothing synths carry throughout the album, creating cohesion among the ten tracks, even in more upbeat tracks such as “How.” Beneath the quicker tempo and heavier bass lies this common groove, creating a change in mood without contrast. The clean guitar riffs and the higher pitched vocals give the song an indie rock edge that stands out just enough to catch attention with the subtle, periodic use of synth keeping it from seeming out of place.
“Alone/With You” leaves an impression not just for its quick tempo and strong beat, but by fitting into the album for the opposite reasons as “How” did, by emphasizing instead of minimizing the use of synths. The instrumentals create rhythm without much bass, and Tonra’s held notes carry a nearly electronic feel that blend seamlessly in between verses. The complexity of the composition makes the song intriguing, with layers of effects building upon each other in union while each creates its own unique and apparent sound.
“No Care” is a fast-based, bass-heavy track that creates a sense of chaos that matches the lyrics. The mismatched tempos of the instrumentals and vocals result in a sense of confusion that matches that of the lyrics.
The album concludes with the solemn track “Made of Stone.” The vocals are raw and the lyrics are heartfelt. The instrumentals are soft as to not overpower the words, and slower and bass-heavy as to provide a despondent atmosphere that once again matches that of the introduction. More than being a powerful song that conveys the despondence of the singer nearly as powerfully in the instrumentals as in the words themselves, “Made of Stone” ties the album together by paralleling the opening track, concluding with the same emotion that the album introduced.
Not To Disappear is a moving album. Each song is carefully composed to convey meaning as well as to tie into the overall sound so that no track is an outlier. The instrumentals are powerful and create a balance between clean and synthetic components. The vocals are melodic, emotional, and complement the instrumentals to create a well-crafted final product. Even though it is only the group’s second full-length album, Not To Disappear is highly commendable and may help Daughter skyrocket even farther into the American music scene.
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